Alaska Pipeline not in long-range projects

March 2011, Vol. 66 No. 3

In a report written by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it was revealed that federal analysts that they don’t believe it will be economical to build a major natural gas pipeline through Alaska to the Lower 48 states for at least the next 20 years.

The study looks at domestic energy markets through 2035 and cites higher construction costs and lower natural gas wellhead prices, in 2009 terms, as making a line uneconomical during that timeframe. Alaska lawmakers said the administration’s decision was anything but unexpected — they said the state needs to pursue other energy options. Two pipeline companies, Alberta, Canada-based TransCanada Corp. and Denali-The Alaska Gas Pipeline, are pursuing proposals to bring gas from Alaska’s North Slope to North American or overseas markets by about 2020. The cost estimates for the pipeline are from $20 billion to $41 billion.